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March 17th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Health care debate erupts into 'March Madness'

(CNN) – The battle over health care reform in Washington is erupting over the possibility a bill could be passed without a direct vote. The uproar is coming from the House, where Democrats may vote on a rule that would deem the Senate's version of the bill to be passed.

Both sides of the aisle are playing hardball politics. Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski used a basketball metaphor to voice her opposition, saying Congress is giving new meaning to March Madness. Our Jim Acosta reports on the war of words breaking out on Capitol Hill.

Read more: House Dems weigh controversial rule in health care vote

Filed under: Politics
March 17th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Chamber of Commerce lobbies against health care bill

By Carol Costello and Bob Ruff, CNN

(CNN) – Once upon a time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its many local chapters went about the business of championing free enterprise and the advancement of commerce throughout the nation.

They still do all of that, but nearly 90 years after its birth, the Chamber of 2010 is not your grandfather’s or even your father’s Chamber.

Today, the nation’s largest business association is a key player in the crafting of legislation, as well as the electing of candidates for public office.

A perfect example: the health care debate. Turn on cable TV for any amount of time and you’re likely to see more than once this Chamber advertisement urging Congress to vote down the Democratic plan.

Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the Chamber, told us the president’s plan “is not going to work” and that “when you’re trying to restructure fundamentally between a sixth and a fifth of the economy all at once, you are going to have unintended consequences.“

The Chamber’s health care message, says Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Advisory Group, made its way into $42 million worth of TV ads last year. So far this year, the Chamber’s TV ad total is $3 million and growing.

And that’s not all.


Filed under: Politics
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